40,000 words


Last Thursday night was kind of awesome for me.  Went for a run.  Did a Google Hangout with Canelli for the first time since last summer.  And then I hit 40,000 words in my Birdland manuscript.

40,000 words.  In five and a half chapters.  The LaTeX document, when compiled into a PDF, kicks out a 74-page single-spaced document–124 pages with double-spacing.  By the time I finish the current chapter next week, it’ll be pushing 44,000 words.

For most manuscripts, 100,000 words is what editors look for.  In that case, I’m practically halfway there.  And for my writing program, I only need to turn in 40-60 pages double-spaced to get that Master of Arts.  Well, shit, hand me an MFA instead, brah.

But, like I told Canelli Thursday night, these first five/six chapters are just the beginning.  I’ve got the final four/five chapters already planned in my head (it helps to know where a story is supposed to end before you begin it), and that’ll probably be about the same length as what I’ve got now.  So we’re talking roughly 80,000 to 88,000 words, and that’s before I’ve figured out how to connect the beginning with the end!  I mean, at some point, I’ve still got to figure out how to get a shamo rooster in the story somehow.

So I’m really excited about this manuscript now, more than ever.  Success begets success.  Like I told Canelli and Amanda, I think I can do a chapter a month easy, and if this is going to go 15 chapters, then I’ll have it done by Christmas 2017.  Man, I’m stoked about that!

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